Kpop groups’ October comebacks

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Jess Oakley, Reporter

The month of October was a very busy month for K-pop groups. There were music video releases, single releases and album releases all month long. I spent a few hours listening to all the new music from this month and will be highlighting some interesting things I found. 

The first huge comeback of October was when Blackpink released their first full album, “The Album,” alongside the music video to the title track, “Lovesick Girls.” “Lovesick Girls” peaked at number one on the Billboard Global Excl. U.S. chart. That chart tracks streams, downloads and sales activity in more than 200 territories around the globe, excluding the U.S. The song peaked at number one on Oct. 16, beating out “Dynamite” by BTS, which had been charting at number one for five straight weeks. The music video for the song gained 61.4 million streams within the first 24 hours. In regards to physical sales, “The Album” exceeded one million pre-orders in South Korea, the first group in history to achieve this feat. Additionally, the group sold more than 600,000 copies of their album in the two days after the physical release on Oct. 6. These achievements all break previous records set by other K-pop girl groups. 

A few new acts debuted this month as well, including Korean boy group WEi, which are managed under OUI entertainment. The group consists of six members, and their debut extended play by the title “IDENTITY: First Sight” was released on Oct. 5. The title song is “TWILIGHT” and achieved over 4.6 M views in the first 24 hours, placing the boy group at #5 for most viewed debut music video for the first 24 hours for boy groups. The music video surpassed 10 million views within the first four days, which is an amazing achievement for a rookie group. 

One of the members of group Monsta X released a solo mixtape as well. Jooheon, stage name Joohoney, released his fourth mixtape on Oct. 9. The mixtape debuted #2 on the itunes world album chart, as well as charting first in the list of K-pop albums in 16 territories, including the United States, Australia, France, Germany and New Zealand. It ranked within the top 10 albums in 30 regions. This mixtape was composed in its entirety by Jooheon, which really highlights his talents as both an artist and a producer. The mixtape is a raw look at his experiences both in the best sense of the world and when he was in the darkest parts of his “psyche.”

Popular boy group NCT had a comeback and a full album released on October 12. This comeback included 23 members, introducing two new members to the group. The group has a sub-unit system that includes four sub-units, including NCT 127, NCT Dream, NCT U, and WayV. Each unit has a different speciality or region of the world, such as NCT 127 being based in Seoul, South Korea. NCT Dream is the unit that includes the youngest members, and WayV is the China based unit. NCT U stands for NCT United, and is a rotational unit that can change with every song. The album, ‘Resonance Pt. 1’ includes 13 songs. Four of the songs have music videos, and there are two title tracks. The album achieved 1.12 Million pre-orders as well, making the whole group a million seller. They also ranked #7 for highest first day sales on Hanteo in 2020, as well as 11 overall. The music video for the title track ‘Make a Wish (Birthday Song)’ reached 25 Million views within the first 24 hours, making it the most viewed music video in the first 24 hours for an SM artist, as well as ranking #15 on the ranking for all K-pop music videos. It also reached 60 million views within the first week, the fastest in SM history. The album got a total of 28 number ones on Itunes, including the countries of the United States, Australia, Canada and Japan. 

Pentagon, a group that debuted in 2016, finally got their first music show win this month with their comeback title track ‘Daisy’. The music video garnered 3 million views in the first 24 hours, a new record for the group, while the previous music video only gained 1.8 million in the first 24 hours. I talked to a few fans about the length of time it took Pentagon to get their first win, and Cyan said this: “It’s also kind of shocking that it’s taken them this long because they’ve had a lot of hit songs, especially ‘Shine!,’ that went crazy viral and still didn’t get them a win. To top it off, they’re under one of the most influential companies, so I’d say their story is pretty exceptional and they’ve been through a lot to get to this point.” 

A rookie group, Weeekly, who debuted in June of this year, came back with their second extended play ‘We Can’. The music video for the title track ‘ZigZag’ reached 2.5 Million views in the first 24 hours, and surpassed 15 million views within the first 6 days. This is a new record for the group, as their debut title track, ‘Tag Me (@ Me)’ is still only at 14 Million views four months after it was posted. This group in particular is one of my favorite new groups, and I am very proud of their achievements for this album. 

Member of popular boy group EXO, Chen, releases a single as a soloist following the group’s hiatus since last November. The group seems to be focused on solo and sub-unit ventures as all of the members approach the age to enlist in their mandatory military enlistment. Earlier this year, Chen shared with fans that he was getting married and becoming a father. Many fans became outraged and stopped being his fan, but it appears he still has a strong fanbase globally. The song, titled ‘Hello’ is the third release by Chen as a soloist. It was released on October 15, followed by a handwritten letter shared by the artist on LYSN, an app created to help fans stay in contact with various artists from SM entertainment. He will enlist in his military service starting on October 26. This is after three other members of the group have already enlisted, including the leader. 

Lee Suhyun, singer in duo Akdong Musician, shortened to AKMU, finally released a solo single, ‘ALIEN’. The duo consists of older brother Lee Chanhyuk and younger sister Lee Suhyun. The duo had a hiatus while Chanhyuk served out his mandatory military service. After his return, the duo came back and are continuing with their musical careers. The song’s lyrics were written by Chanhyuk, and in part composed by him as well. 

Another group that had a long awaited comeback was boy group B1A4. who had been on a hiatus since 2017. Their last activity as a group was in September of 2017, with the release of their seventh extended play ‘Rollin’’. In June of 2018 it was announced that two of the five members had left the group and company ater their contracts expired. In January of 2019, the oldest member, CNU, enlisted in the military for his mandatory service. He was discharged in August of 2020 and it was announced that the group would have their first comeback in October. The music video gained 6 Million views in 3 days. This is an amazing accomplishment for a group that hadn’t made music in over three years. 

Boy group Seventeen, often shortened to SVT, came out with a special album this past month. The group has thirteen members which are divided into three sub-units. The album is considered a ‘special album’ because the songs are sung by members of the same age instead of being divided by the units like they usually are. Many of the members got involved with writing and composing the music. When I asked a fan if they felt that this comeback kept the sort of flavor that is signature to the group, Emily said “I feel like it retained a lot of their same sound but also had a new kind of retro or funk beats.” She also said that, “Their music is usually very upbeat but has a certain sense of comfort that I find hard to put into words, but is one of the reasons why I absolutely adore Seventeen.” 

Another big group that had a comeback was LOONA. LOONA is a twelve member girl group under BBC entertainment. The group came back with a full album titled ‘12:00’ with a title track ‘Why Not?’ As a fan of the group, I am incredibly proud of this comeback. They shined and all the girls seemed very happy to be performing as well. The music video for ‘Why Not?’ reached 13 Million views in less than five days. The album also has the highest sales for the group’s comebacks. The group debuted slowly over two years, each member debuting as a soloist and then in a sub-unit. The group now has 15 single albums, 3 extended plays and 1 full album. 

I am writing this article before the end of the month, so there are still quite a few comebacks planned for the rest of the month. Some big ones I’m looking forward to are Twice and TXT. I really enjoyed the comebacks this month and I am looking forward to what will come out next month. I created a playlist of my favorite songs from this month on YouTube. I really had fun writing this article and hope it can encourage you to branch out and try listening to some K-pop acts as well.

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